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You may have considered buying a Taser to protect yourself. But you should know the law regarding Taser possession and use before buying one.
A Taser is a nonlethal defense weapon that’s powered by electricity. Law enforcement officers use Tasers every day to subdue fleeing and combative suspects.
However, a growing number of consumers are interested in using Tasers for self-defense. Some individuals want them for home protection while others want to carry them as they go about their daily business.
Before you purchase one, however, you should ask “Is it legal to carry a Taser?”
Is It Legal to Own a Taser?
The answer to the question “Are Tasers legal?” is yes, in most states. In every state, you’ll find that law enforcement officers used Tasers regularly.
However, not all states allow consumers to own Tasers. They’re illegal for consumers to own in Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
In most other states, consumers can possess Tasers, with some restrictions. In the remaining states, consumers can even keep a Taser at their home or business without a permit.
In states where the law allows you to own a Taser, you can still get in hot water if, for instance, you use it for something other than self-defense. The law allows you to use a Taser only if you’re in immediate danger of physical violence.
If your reason for using a Taser isn’t acceptable under local law, it’s considered assault. An assault charge can result in criminal prosecution. It can also cost you plenty of money if the victim decides to pursue monetary compensation in a civil suit.
Where Do You Need a Permit for a Taser?
To answer the question “Do you need a license for a Taser?”, you need to think about the state where you reside. Many states require that you apply for a permit to own a Taser.
In the state of Illinois, for instance, you must apply for a Firearm’s Identification Card before you can purchase or possess a firearm, stun gun, or Taser. In Illinois, there are limited exceptions to this rule. For instance, this rule does not apply if you’re:
- A federal official licensed to carry a firearm
- A non-resident hunter with a valid non-resident hunting license
- A veteran and standing member of a veteran’s organization that received firearms from the military
- An in-state hunter who’s exempt with the presentation of a Firearms Owner’s Identification Card
- An on-duty U.S. marshal
- Concealed carry license holders
- In the military and on active duty
- On-duty law enforcement officers
There is one unique exception regarding Taser law for new Illinois residents.
If you move to Illinois and you’re not prohibited from obtaining a Firearm’s Identification Card, you have some leeway. You’re not required to obtain your permit until 60 days after acquiring your driver’s license or state identification card.
Is It Legal to Carry a Taser?
A Taser is a brand of stun gun. Some models have prongs that shoot out to help protect you from an attacker, maintaining distance between you and the intended target. This kind of Taser, however, isn’t legal in every state.
Police officers in every state can carry Tasers. However, consumers aren’t allowed to own Tasers at all in some states.
In other states, consumers can own a Taser, but can only use it at their home or business sans permit. Still, other states require a permit for any form of Taser possession.
It’s your job to know the difference. The first thing a judge will say if you get into trouble with a Taser is that ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law.
Taser laws in most states are similar and quite lenient. Before you purchase one, however, you should make sure it’s legal where you live.
For example, lawmakers may make it legal to own a Taser in your state. However, it may still be illegal to carry one in your city.
If the law allows you to own a stun gun, many people want to know if they can carry one in public.
This point can prove tricky. Some municipalities where you’re allowed to own a stun gun require you to conceal them if you carry in public.
For each municipality, the laws vary and are sometimes quite detailed. The best way to find out the carry laws in your area is to talk with local and state authorities about stun gun concealed carry laws.
In most areas, the law doesn’t require you to conceal your stun gun in public. However, you should think about others in this regard. Openly carrying a stun gun in public may make others feel uncomfortable or panicked.
Different Kinds of Tasers
Despite the type or brand, a stun gun can pack a wallop. If you’re ever stunned by one, it’s five seconds you’ll never forget.
You’ll completely lose the ability to move. You’ll become completely incapacitated.
The effects of a stun gun are short-lived but powerful. Once the effect wears off, you’ll more than likely experience more relief than you ever have in your lifetime.
Tasers with probes are much more effective. They put distance between you and a potential attacker.
However, they’re not legal in every state. This kind of Taser is limited to law enforcement personnel in some areas.
Despite the voltage of a fixed probe stun gun, it’s important not to get overconfident. If you have a stun gun without probes, you still have to get within striking distance of an attacker.
You are vulnerable to harm in this instance, so don’t look for trouble; avoid problems by any means necessary. For instance, you may want to travel in groups or conduct your business in the daytime if you’re limited to using a fixed probe Taser and worried about your personal security.
Tasers are one of the most effective law enforcement innovations since the nightstick. They save countless hours in manpower when subduing suspects.
For consumers, Tasers can prove lifesaving. The nonlethal weapons protect civilians, police officers, and suspects from serious injuries.
Keeping It Safe: Stay in the Know
Stun guns are the most effective nonlethal weapon available. However, it’s essential that you ask your local officials “Is it legal to carry a Taser?” before going out and purchasing one.
Safety and security are becoming increasingly important. For teachers leading field trips, for example, outings can prove terrifying. It makes sense for people to wonder if it is legal to carry a Taser.
Tasers could serve as an effective tool for defusing situations that could threaten the lives of civilians faced with a range of threatening situations.
To find out more about the latest self-defense trends, check back for more news.